Austin Democratic Socialists of America

Migrate from Slack to Mattermost

You can review the full text of the Tech Committee’s special motion below:

In an effort to provide more secure communication to DSA organizers, facilitate statewide organizing, and to better futureproof the chapter’s infrastructure, the Austin DSA Tech Committee, with approval from the general body, would like to migrate from the current Slack chat system to Houston DSA’s Mattermost server.

What is Slack?
Slack is the current official online messaging system for Austin DSA. It is a cloud-based service operated by a for-profit company. It is also a “freemium” service, meaning that we use the product for free, but with some limitations. The most important is that we only have access to the past 10,000 messages unless we start paying for the service. While this was not originally a problem when the chapter first started using Slack, now we average about 1,200 messages per week, meaning that the average message only has a shelf life of about two months. At $6.67/user per month and roughly 260 current users, it would be an enormous cost to our organization.

What is Mattermost?
Mattermost is a free-to-use, open source Slack “clone”, meaning that it looks, feels, and behaves very similarly. It has all of the same major features and functionality as Slack and none of the limitations of the free version, including a robust mobile app. Further down the line, we’ll be able to do more integrations that were not possible with the free version of Slack as well. Yes, we’ll be able to import all of the custom emojis, too. The only difference being that you have to set up the server yourself to run it. For more info, you can also check out https://www.mattermost.org/

Thankfully, Houston DSA already has a Mattermost server, so they’ve done the hard part for us. They’ve offered for us to set up on it. We would be given our own independent space as a chapter to use, as well as then having easier access to the already existing (but currently rarely used) Texas DSA channels. San Antonio DSA is also already using this system, as well.

We see this as a great opportunity to strengthen the communication tools used for statewide cooperation while making sure Austin DSA has systems that will accommodate the next 1,000 members. In the status quo, we risk outgrowing our infrastructure in the near future. With the general body’s blessing, the tech committee will continue our research and development of better solutions to the organizational problems we face. With this particular proposal, we recognize that it will be a long process and will require some training and technical assistance for members. However, we wanted to first seek approval before investing more time into the project.


And then use this form to cosign!

Please use the email address that you used for your DSA membership. Only members in good standing can cosign.